Every car seat is required to have an expiration date located on either the car seat or product manual.
A lot of people believe that car seats having an expiration date is just a greedy attempt from manufacturers to bait customers into buying another car seat. That couldn't be farther from the truth - it's all about making your child as safe as possible.
In this article, we'll be looking at the main reasons why car seats expire and why it's important to abide by the limits the expiration date sets. I'll also tell you where you can find the expiration date on the most popular car seat models.
Why Do Car Seats Have Expiration Dates?
There’s no one reason why car seats expire. The reason can range from wear and tear to innovations in technology and design. According to several credible sources, including Healthline, The Washington Post, and Car Seat for the Littles, there are four main reasons why car seats expire.
1. Wear and Tear
Baby seats are one of the most used baby products. They have to go through accidents, spills, damage, and they’re pretty much used every day for years. It’s to be expected that over time the quality of your car seat will decrease, and on top of that, you also have to take into account that the materials used to craft your car seat aren’t meant to last forever.
For instance, if you live in places that experience extreme heat/cold, it can cause the plastic in your car seat to become brittle. For this and other reasons, continuing to use a car seat past its expiration date can be hazardous and put your child at serious risk of injury in the event of a crash.
2. Changes in Technology and Design
If you look at a picture of a car seat from 6 to 8 years ago, you’ll notice huge differences in the design of newer, top-shelf models. Features like cup holders, legroom extensions, harness holders, etc. are all things that you probably wouldn’t find in an older car seat.
In addition to the changes in design, car seat manufacturers are making huge technological advancements to adhere to new and changing safety regulations. In comparison to car seats that were engineered years ago, you’ll find improvements in side-impact protection, energy-absorbing materials that redistribute crash force, and so on.
Having an expiration date on a car seat propels parents into using safe, reinvented, and technologically advanced car seats. In other words, out with the old and in with the new, for an all-around safer and convenient car seat experience
3. Changes in Safety Regulations and Standards
Organizations and associations like the NHTSA and the American Academy of Pediatrics are constantly looking for new ways to improve car seat safety, which is awesome.
When these organizations make a change to the safety standard, it can place car seats that don’t adhere to it out of compliance, and those car seats will no longer be considered safe to use. That’s why car seats have an expiration date. Manufacturers stay up-to-date on all of the changing regulations and standards so that they can make car seats that comply with those changes.
The expiration date helps to ensure that your car seat is up-tp-date, as well as make it so that you, technically, don’t have to immediately get rid of your car seat when changes in safety regulations take place.
If you register your car seat as soon you get it, you’ll immediately be notified if the manufacturer issues a recall for it. Most of the time, in a recall situation, the car seat is salvageable, and the manufacturer will send you a recall repair kit to fix your car seat. If this is not the case, the manufacturer will ask you to stop using the car seat. You may not be able to replace the car seat right away, so the expiration date will at least show that you have a relatively up-to-date car seat.
Where to Find the Expiration Date on My Car Seat? Instructions for Every Major Brand
Graco car seat expiration
Graco puts their expiration dates on the bottom or back of every car seat. Their car seats have a lifespan of 7 to 10 years, depending on the car seat. You’ll have to reference your product manual to see when your specific car seat expires. If you can’t find the Date of Manufacture on your car seat, you can also find it on your registration card.
Britax car seat expiration
Safety 1st car seat expiration
Cosco car seat expiration dates
Cosco car seat expiration dates are either molded into the shell of the car seat or located on a white label. You can also find the expiration dates listed in the product manual. Cosco car seats have a lifespan that ranges from 6 to 10 years, depending on what type of car seat it is and the year it was made.
Evenflo car seat expiration
Evenflo car seats have a DOM label on their car seat will tell you when your car seat expires. You can find the label printed somewhere on the shell of the seat, or you can refer to your product manual. Evenflo car seats have a lifespan that ranges from 6 to 8 years, depending on what type of car seat it is.
Peg Perego car seat expiration
Peg Perego places their expiration dates on white stickers that can be found under the car seat. Their car seats have a lifespan that ranges from seven to 12 years, depending on what year it was manufactured.
Maxi-Cosi car seat expiration
The expiration date on a car seat is put in place to ensure its safety and the integrity of your car seat manufacturer. If your car seat expires, it's very important that you take the necessary steps to replace it or reach out to your manufacturer to see what to do next. Ignoring the expiration date can put your child at extreme risk of injury in the event of a collision.
With two kids of my own, I’m passionate about child safety! I’m a research nerd who’s on a mission to make the world a safer place for kids – starting with car seats!
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